I remember from my younger years, my dad packing the family in the car and going for a ride. We didn't have any real destination. Maybe we'd see what we'd find on a trip to the Delaware River or a ride in the country. Sometimes, I think my dad would just get on a road and would see where it took us. We’d grab a bite to eat. Take in the local sights. Then later head back home.
Traveling about like that was fun. But, that's all it was intended to be. When we had a destination, when we were going somewhere, dad always planned out the best route. Hey, that's what dads do.
Life is like that, too. You can't get to where you want to go without planning on how to get there. It’s one thing to have a vision of where you are and where you want to be. But, without a plan, a road map is just like going for a ride in dad's old Pontiac.
A 'development road map' helps you understand what you're going to focus on. I often see people take on so much as part of their development process – trying to transform, change, and create what they want in their lives. As ambitious as it is, it can also be overwhelming. Think of the old 80/20 rule. Strategically, what’s the 20 percent of things that I could focus on that would get me 80 percent of my results? So, a development plan helps you focus.
It also helps you get very clear about the two or three competencies or areas you really want to work on while identifying any gaps. As an example, a lot of leaders I work with often say, “I want to be a better communicator.” I ask them, “Great, what does that mean? What does that look like? If you achieved it, how would you know?”
We need to be very clear in defining those milestones we put onto our list. These are the two or three areas we really want to develop. These areas need to be measurable. We need to develop our road map with the consideration of, “This is what I’m working on; this is what it will look like as I work on it,” and then we need to achieve it.
When you talk about developing in any area of your life – making better decisions or having better relationships – that’s intangible and unclear. Maybe there is uncertainty and confusion surrounding your vision in terms of what it really looks like. That's why clarity is crucial; to cut through the ambiguity and confusion.
We need to commit to ourselves and say, “Yes, I’m going to work on this. This is what it’s going to look like. This is where I’m going to focus my time, and this is how I’m going to know that I’ve achieved it.” That’s a big declaration. It’s a big commitment for people to make, but it makes a tremendous, tremendous difference.
So, what big declaration will you commit to today?
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)